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2012 Shishapangma Expedition
Standard Tibet north side route
Above: Shishapangma from the summit of Cho Oyu.
Cho Oyu and Shishapangma are considered the least difficult and least dangerous of the 8000m peaks.
Shishapangma (Xixapangma) has two summits, the commonly climbed Central summit that the Chinese say is 8012m (7999m on old maps) which we have reached four times. Naturally we will be aiming to climb to the higher true summit, 8027m (26,335ft), and spring is the best season for this, lets see if we can get there!
We offer the best balance of quality and value. We run safe expeditions with a good sherpa ratio, have radios that always work and have AC power and email-internet at ABC; everything you would expect and more.
We have a photo gallery from the successful 2003 Shishapangma expedition, dispatches from the successful 2005 Shishapangma expedition, the 2006 Shishapangma expedition (not successful due to avalanche danger) and the 2007 Shishapangma expedition (not successful due to incessant winds).
Looking from the true (Main) summit along to the Central summit - photo Jarle Traa, Norway
Please give yourself enough time in Kathmandu to recover from long flights; also get some exercise on arrival and take vitamins. Pack your bags so that you have a travel pack/bag less than 20kgs for the jeep drive to base camp. You climbing kit bag/s will stay in the truck. Ensure that your gear in the base camp bag/bags are packed in plastic, ie completely waterproof.
We overland in but starting with Lhasa is an optional extra.
Shishapangma ABC - Jamie
Heading up from Camp 2 (unseen, behind us) to Camp 3 on the ridge (also just unseen).
We have run many successful and safe expeditions however you must understand this is as real as it gets. We try our best with safety and gear within the limits of the expedition budget and the success rates for Shishapangma (Central summit) are high, but this is 8000m and anything can happen. Even with good gear, good everything, the risk of death is small BUT REAL. There is UNAVOIDABLE avalanche danger, although the probability is low. If you haven't climbed to 8000m before you will find the mountain bigger and scarier than you ever imagined.
We try our best and we are very responsible, caring people HOWEVER we are not liable for anything, full stop.
Mentally, you should not be on this expedition unless you think you can climb to the summit, there in a lot of power is positive thinking. At the same time you must be prepared for disappointment; conditions may not be perfect, you may struggle at extreme altitude etc.
This is a professionally lead expedition. Your guide and crew are there to manage the logistics of the expedition not to haul you up the mountain or be personal servants. Your guide is there because he is familiar with the mountain and big expeditions, to assist in being a climbing partner, to make difficult judgment decisions and to generally manage the expedition. Your guide will accompany the team on the majority of the acclimatization trips and will endeavor to summit with you, but this is not a guarantee. The climbing sherpas will summit with the expedition members.
We live together for more than a month so please have consideration for your fellow team members, crew and guide, and other mountaineers. Being polite and reasonable goes a long way, even minor dehydration makes almost anyone surprisingly irritable and intractable).
Experience and fitness
Despite the relatively non-technical nature you MUST have some mountaineering experience and MUST have been to 6000m before. The fitter you are when you arrive the better. You must be at least moderately fit, your fitness will build remarkably on the mountain. Don't underestimate the difficulty and strength of will required to climb at over 7000m.
This is your choice. It is sometimes possible to get insurance for 8000m peaks thru your national alpine club - the British Mountaineering council (BMC) has a great policy, although getting more expensive all the time. Often a doctor books but we don't guarantee the services of a doctor. however in the past we have arranged the services of a doctor at base camp. You pay the doctor directly. There is no helicopter rescue possible for Shishapangma so evacuation is by Landcruiser to Kathmandu. The cost of emergency evacuation and associated care is not included in the cost of the expedition. There is one particularly good clinic in Kathmandu otherwise the nearest high standard hospital is Singapore or Bangkok, although generally it is better to return to your home country. Our Nepali staff are insured.
Please read the information and links in the contacting us section on the main expeditions page.